Thursday, September 10, 2009

US Open Day 11: The Tournament's Best Kept Secret

Curtain Call
Player: Marin Cilic
Nation: Croatia
Age: 20
Current Ranking: #17
Notable Conquests: Andy Murray (UK), 2nd seed
Tour Page:
Today's Match: loss to Juan Martin del Potro (Argentina) in four sets

In my mind, there's no doubt that Cilic's win over Murray was the biggest upset of the tournament thus far. Kvitova over Safina was good but the vultures were hovering over the top seed from the first round. This was supposed to be Murray's break out tournament and Cilic stomped him hard. This is likely just the beginning for this young man.

But the real story of the match today, and don't be shocked if this is an even bigger story come Sunday, was the guy on the other side of the net. When Roger, Rafa, Andy and Novak look behind them and see Juan Martin del Potro breathing down their necks, they've got to be more than a little nervous. He's younger than all of them and he's really, really good. Before this year's French Open, he was the guy who'd play lights out until he came up against one of his idols, i.e. Federer or Nadal, and then he'd go quiet and lose in straight sets. But in Paris, he was visibly upset about letting his semifinal match against Fed get away from him. Right now, he's playing like he's tired of waiting his turn. He's not giving anybody a free pass this time.

I'm gonna go out on a limb. Even if it doesn't happen for him here, del Potro is the future of men's tennis.

In last night's fantasy draft, I picked Santonio Holmes in the 4th round: 83 yards and a touchdown so far tonight. At least until Sunday, I get to feel like a genius.

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